The benefits of becoming exceptional

Here’s a simple concept that explains why it pays to become exceptional at something.

It’s called “disconnected inputs and outputs.”

First, put in the hours to become exceptional at something. For example, spend 30 hours learning how to write.

After you’ve spent 30 hours becoming a better writer, write something. By now it should take you maybe two or three hours to write something exceptional. Then, go online, and share what you wrote. If it’s good, it’ll spread. If it’s not, spend another 30 hours becoming an even better writer.

The 30 (or 60) hours you spent learning how to write was necessary to learning how to write something exceptional in 2 or 3 hours. And those 2 or 3 hours it now takes you to produce an excellent piece of writing leads to 18 hours of opportunity for you. That’s the rule of disconnected inputs and outputs at work.

Of course, results may vary. But the alternative is a mode of work where results never vary.

The most productive people are those who, with the flick of their wrists, produce something exceptional. This is how Oprah creates instant bestsellers by sneezing on a book. But you can’t turn your wrist into a magic wand unless you first turn your wrist into a hammer. You can’t be exceptional unless you start off as a beginner. There was a time when Oprah wasn’t Oprah.

Becoming exceptional is like watching a so-so movie that becomes a great movie at the end. You won’t experience the true payoff until later.

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